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Lost WW1 Medal returned to family

Friday 8 December, 2017

On 10 November 1916 Private Arthur Edward Bray (Service Number 2891) died of wounds received in action serving with the 32nd Infantry Battalion.  He was buried in the Etretat Churchyard near Le Havre, France.

The following article notifying of his death appeared in the Adelaide Chronicle on 2 December, 1916:

The death of Private A. E. Bray occurred on November 10, in hospital in France, as a result of wounds received in action and serious illness. Private Bray, who was 32 years of age, was born at Port Victoria, where he lived all his life until he enlisted in March last. He left Australia in April and was for some time in Egypt. He reached the trenches in France in August, and was there over three months before being fatally wounded. Private A. Bray was the fifth son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Bray, of Port Victoria. He was of a cheery disposition and was loved by all who knew him. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved family, who are amongst the oldest residents of Port Victoria.

A gentleman by the name of Matthew Schulz moved into a share house in Enfield, a suburb of Adelaide.  While living in this house Matthew discovered an old discoloured medal in a shoebox under the house. When Matthew moved interstate years later the shoebox inadvertently made the move with him.  Upon rediscovering the medal, Matthew, who happens to be the son of Veterans’ Advisory Council member Dr Pamela Schulz OAM, passed the medal to his mother.  Dr Schulz was able to make out the engraving “A. E. Bray” on the side of the discoloured British War Medal and presented it to Veterans SA in the hope that a descendant of Private Bray could be identified.

The Port Victoria RSL Sub-Branch was contacted and Honorary Secretary, Mrs Carole Gill was pleased to advise that a direct descendant of Private Bray’s, Mrs Leonie Ware (nee Bray), still lived in Port Victoria and was a proud member of the Sub-Branch.

On 10 November, 2017 the Deputy Director of Veterans SA, Chantelle Graham, attended the Port Victoria RSL and along with Sub-Branch President Rod Gill, presented the medal to Leonie in a surprise ceremony.

The Port Victoria RSL Sub-Branch, Veterans SA, Mrs Ware and Dr Schulz are delighted that Private Bray’s medal made it back to his family exactly 101 years to the day after his death.

Lest We Forget.


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